John McCarthy (mixed martial arts)

John McCarthy (Mixed Martial Arts)

John McCarthy (mixed martial arts)

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John Michael McCarthy, (born October 12, 1962 in Los Angeles, CA) the 'Octagon's ninth side', is the former head referee for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a Los Angeles Police Officer, and a Tactical Self-Defense Instructor at the Los Angeles Police Academy. He formerly provided commentary and analysis for The Fight Network's coverage of UFC events. He also provided commentary for Banned, the first MMA event co-produced by Affliction Clothing and Adrenaline MMA. He has served as head referee for nearly 500 bouts in major MMA promotions dating back to 1993. He is also the co-founder of C.O.M.M.A.N.D., the training and certification school for MMA referees and judges.


In 1985 McCarthy became a police officer for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), following his father who worked as a police officer for thirty years. In August 1993, McCarthy was awarded his Tactics & Self-Defense Instructor Certification by the LAPD, and has been teaching for the department ever since. He is also an instructor at the Fullerton College Police Academy.

The nickname of 'Big John' came about because of his stature. He stands 6'4" and weighs 240 lb; making him larger than the majority of the athletes he presides over. According to a UFC interview, the nickname was given to him by UFC co-founder and promoter Art Davie. McCarthy recalls...
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